The University of Edinburgh’s 23 Things for Digital Knowledge is an award winning (LILAC Credo Digital Literacy Award 2017), self-directed course, run by Information Services Group.

The programme aims to expose you to a range of digital tools for your personal and professional development as a researcher, academic, student, or professional. The aim is for you to spend a little time each week, building up and expanding your skills. We hope that the programme presents a realistic challenge and will allow you to fit it into your schedule. The University of Edinburgh’s ‘23 Things for Digital Knowledge’ is inspired by 23 Things Oxford and based on the original 23 Things program which ran at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006.

Who can take part and participate?

The programme is open to all University of Edinburgh staff and students, and free to anyone who has access to a computer and the internet. If you are not a member of the University you are very welcome to participate but you will not be eligible for the prize draw.

University of Edinburgh staff and students will also have access to additional drop-in and training sessions.

How does the course work?

We originally structured the Things to be presented across twelve weeks with each week containing 2 Things (except week 11 which only has 1 Thing). The content of what to do for the Things of each week was released in blocks of three weeks as follows:

Sept 12th – Weeks 1, 2, and 3

October 3rd  – Weeks 4, 5, and 6

October 24th – Weeks 7, 8, and 9

November 14th – Weeks 10, 11, and 12

Each Thing includes an introduction to each Thing, some reading material and a task to complete. The tasks are intended to not take up much of your time and are designed to encourage you to try out a new Thing or explore a Thing in a new way.

What do I need to do?

This is an open and self-paced programme. You can work through each Thing at your own pace and share what you have learned on your blog. We’ll help you with setting up and registering your blog as Thing 2. If you want to work through the content in the course but don’t want to blog about it that’s fine too.

A the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) they worked through the course as a team, trying out the Things and discussing it in their weekly meetings. How you approach the content is up to you.

Will there be a certificate or prize?

Every University of Edinburgh staff and student with a registered blog who completes and posts an entry on all 23 Things byTuesday 10th January 2017 will go into the prize draw to win an iPad.

Every participant who completes and posts a blog entry on all 23 Things by Tuesday 10th January 2017 will be listed as a 2016 Winner an awarded with an Open Badge.

Every participant who completes a blog post on all 23 Things and submits their blog on the form for Thing 23 will receive an Open Badge as evidence of their work.

Click here to learn more about Open Badges

How long will it take?

Everyone works at their own pace. Some Things may already be familiar to you and quickly achieved, while others may be new and require more time to explore. We suggest allocating around one hour per week for each Thing.

How long do I have to complete the programme?

The program launched the week beginning September 12th and ran across the first semester wrapping up onTuesday 10th January 2017. However the course content remains open and online for anyone to complete in their own time.

Do I have to set up a blog?

You can work through the 23 Things without setting up a blog. However, reflective and open blogging is a core part of the programme. It is used to create a community of participants, to share different perspectives, uses, and understandings of the Things we will be exploring. It is also used to submit completion of the Things to be eligible for the prize draw, and can be integrated as evidence for reflective learning for CMALT accreditation or other Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

How do I register my blog?

We have provided a form for you to complete as part of Thing 2. This will register your blog for 23 Things for Digital Knowledge.

How do I tag my blog posts?

We have provided guidance on how to do this as part of Thing 2. If you are unsure or would like further assistance contact us at @EdUni23Things or by emailing 23things@ed.ac.uk.

What if I need help?

Writing and posting your questions through your blog is a great way to join in the conversation as it allows everyone following along the opportunity to answer each other’s questions and help.

You can also ask us questions on Twitter at @EdUni23Things or by emailing 23things@ed.ac.uk

Licensing – Can I re-use your course?

Yes! The content of this course by University of Edinburgh, except where otherwise stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY). In fact we actively encourage you to take our Digital Knowledge course and adapt it for your own purposes.

Additionally all of the excellent images used on our website were created by our Interactive Content team at the University are also available on a CC BY licence and can be downloaded from the Interactive Content Flickr account.


Who are the 23 Things team?

Stephanie (Charlie) Farley
Open Educational Resources Advisor

Charlie's profile pic Charlie is leading the 23 Things for Digital Knowledge programme.  Charlie provides support and training in the creation and use of Open Educational Resources  (Open.Ed), advises on the use of Social Media Tools in Learning and Teaching, and runs Board Game Jam sessions for various groups at the University. Rarely seen without an electronic device in her hand, Charlie is passionate about the uses of technology to enhance open education, access, and information sharing. A self-identified Librarian, she is studying a distance MSc in Information and Library Studies at Aberystwyth University.

Stuart Nicol
Online and Open Education Team Manager

Stuart Nicol's profile picStuart’s current focus is in online and open education. He has provided support for e-assessment and e-portfolio tools – including the Turnitin suite, PebblePad and WebPA – and has worked closely with both our VLE offerings – Blackboard Learn and Moodle. Stuart has been with the University for several years but most of that time has been in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology where he was involved in both e-learning and historical mapping projects. He is also a part-time student on the MSc Digital Education.

Susan Greig
Learning Technology Advisor

Susan's profile pictureSusan is currently leading the certified membership scheme (CMALT) provided by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).  CMALT is a peer-based professional accreditation scheme for people whose work involves learning technology.  Susan is also the service lead for the assessment system QuestionMark Perception, and supports Collaborate (the virtual classroom/meeting service), and Top Hat (audience response system for lectures). Susan also advises on the use of Social Media Tools in Learning and Teaching in Learning and Teaching, and has interests in Geolocation and Open Educational Resources (OERs).